Taking “What if” to its logical conclusion

I have a rather odd, at least I think it’s odd, outlook on what I should and should not worry about.

Really, I think it has to come from my total fascination with end of the world scenarios in general.  If there a movie, or a book or a documentary about how we are all going to die, I’ve taken it in.

But it’s not what you think.  It’s not the death and destruction that I enjoy in these, it’s the perspective it gives me.

We all get into our heads sometimes right?  

Like when I was going for a promotion at work.  I had been working for 3 years toward becoming a manager.  Working my ass off!! Finally, it was my time.

It was the right position for me, the hiring manager knew me, my reputation was flawless.  The job was mine to lose.

I also worked remote at the time, about a 6 hour drive from the office.  So I had blue hair, because, well why not?

I got the call at 4pm on a Friday – “Hey Misty, you made it to the final round of interviewing.  I’d like you to come to the office to do a presentation and we’ll make our final selection.”

JOY!  Then panic.  My hair was blue.  I literally owned no business clothes.  I would have to start driving on Sunday to get there early Monday and a presentation!!!???   Total panic. Worry, so much worry, so much self doubt.

I scrambled all weekend to dye my hair back to brown, buy some clothes and create the presentation that would convince this person that I was the woman for the job.  I drove all night so I could be at the office bright and early at 8am.

Look at all that boring brown!

Fun fact!  I was about half way through the drive when the hiring manager emailed me that there was a blizzard coming, and we could do a phone call after all.  Nope, I was INVESTED in this now, I was going to be there.

What if…..  What if they notice the blue spots in my hair still?  What if I mess up the presentation? What if he finds out I don’t have a degree?  What if they don’t want someone who is remote managing people? What if……

Here is where the Yellowstone Theory comes into play, and I’m going to pause my own personal story for just a moment.

Did you know that most all of Yellowstone National Park is in fact a giant volcano?  What’s called a Super Volcano in fact.

The caldera (think of the big indent in a normal cone volcano) is around 35 by 45 MILES.  That’s over 1,500 square MILES of volcano.

It’s very much active, those hot springs aren’t powered by magic, and by the way overdue to erupt by average of when it’s gone off in the past.

The power this thing holds would be an almost extinction level event globally if it full on popped.  At the very least all food production in the US and many many people here would be dead.

Now I’m not trying to scare anyone here or create doomsday preppers.

The point is that there is this very literal GIANT thing that we are sitting on.  That we have absolutely fully no control over. That can at any given moment explode and kill us all.  No recourse, no movie action hero saves it all, no warning, just bam.

So here I am, driving back home from my interview, in a blizzard, worrying.  I blew the presentation badly and what if this was all for nothing? What if I don’t get the job?  What if….

Well Misty, what if Yellowstone explodes and kills us all?  I had just about as much control over if I got that job now as I do over the volcano right?

It’s the perspective of it all.

I know there is nothing I can do about Yellowstone, so I don’t worry about it.  If I were to worry about it I would be consumed by dread and who knows what else about this thing that I can in NO way control, and that may actually never happen.

Perspective.  There are so many huge variables in our life.  From super volcanoes, to asteroids, to zombie outbreak, to our own fragile bodies just stopping.   Not a moment in life is guaranteed to any of us.

Now if I can manage to not worry about something THAT BIG, why on gods green earth am I going to worry about the small stuff I can’t control?  If I can accept that I can possibly be blown up by a volcano before I finish writing this article, and still go on typing – well – I can manage to keep going just fine without knowing if I got that job or not.

For the sake of finishing up a story, I did get the job.  I was the top pick hands down and quickly became my boss’s right hand man.  In fact, next time I went to the office, I had my blue hair back, because he valued the work I do, not the color of my hair.  

What are you worrying about today that you can’t control?

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